Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Interesting Friends

"You have interesting friends," The Mr. says often.

It's true. I do. I have interesting friends.

I can't seem to collect the cookie cutter kinds of friends that do all the regular predictable life things. The plain friends who have dramas and crisis in their lives, but somehow they are of the regular sort.

No. Not I. I have interesting friends.

They lead interesting lives.

All the variations of interesting that you can imagine.

Perhaps you can hear The Mr. saying it with all it's different implications.

I'm in my 40's now. I've lived a lot of life, not as much as some, but enough.

I like to think I've had plenty of experiences to make me "worldly" enough. I like to think I'm a little "street wise" or "people wise."

My training and experience in foster parenting took away my naive innocence.

I've had plenty of friends who lived too hard or partied too often.

I've known plenty of birth parents with alcohol and drug abuse issues.

But then again, in this life, you never know what you know, until you know.

I haven't blogged this story because even though it is part of my life, it isn't my story to tell. I haven't blogged it because I have kids old enough and computer savvy enough to read my blog. If they can and do, so could their friends.

I have held back, waiting for the happy ending to come.

I have not lost hope. I have not given up. I have not lost faith.

I am not unrealistic. I am not blind. I am not naive.

We all think we know about addiction and what it does to people, their lives, their families.

We think we know.

I thought I knew.

Addiction is loss. It's chasing down story after story and never finding truth. It's empty. It's sad. It's pathetic and disgusting. It's dread. It's time spent on what has to be cleaned up in it's wake. It's a constant search of public records in an effort to keep track. It's waiting.

Addiction is loss.

 I sat today on my patio and thought about what would have been.

In the last five months we would have lived. Every day living. We would have complained about the end of the school year dramas and demands. We would be complaining right now about the back to school dramas and demands. She would have planted her garden and canned and pickled. We would have hung out on my patio and had coffee while the kids killed each other played together. We would have had ice water and eaten tomatoes at her place while our kids hung out. We would have heckled at the pool while our kids swam. We would have made at least one horrible trip to the zoo, kids going at each other the whole way. We would have traded paperbacks. We would have had a few under the tiki torches. We would have sweated through the kids baseball seasons. We would have cooked together. We would have been constantly in and out of each others homes. She would have planned a party for one of her kids.

Addiction is would have.

Addiction is shocking things losing their shock value.

I always thought I knew about the strength and power and pull of addictions. I thought I knew all about those birth parents that couldn't figure out how to choose their kids over their addictions.

In 5 months, I've called and contacted and met with all the people I possibly could. I've had the confrontations. I've had the "come to Jesus" conversations. I continue to pray. I hope for that happy ending.

But I'm not naive.

My heart is heavy.

I wonder how long would have's will go on. I wonder if fall will come and go. I wonder if the holiday season will happen. I wonder if snow will fall and I will still be keeping tabs through public records and driving the streets looking for the familiar. I wonder if I will be sitting in front of my fire place, wrapped in a blanket, warm under the sparkle of my Christmas tree thinking of would have's.

My heart feels guilt.

There are things I wouldn't have done if I had known.

I don't know how I couldn't have known.

When I do things with my family I have a flash in my mind of her family and I feel guilt. When I take a long hot shower or lay down in my bed, I have guilt. When I go to my fridge and find food or I look at the sky and think what a beautiful day, there is that little tinge. Maybe guilt is the wrong word, and yet, I don't think I know another for it.

Addiction is a thing always just at the edge of the mind, never quite gone.

I still hope on the happy ending.

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